Born in St. Charles Jesse R. Drowley earned the Medal of Honor on January 30, 1944. He was a rifle squad leader and assigned a defensive role within his platoon and company as a neighboring company launched an attack against Japanese defensive positions. While maintaining their defensive positions, Drowley witnessed three of his fellow soldiers from the other unit fall wounded while continuing intense enemy fire prevented their rescue.
Staff Sergeant Drowley disregarded his own safety and headed into the field of fire to rescue the wounded. He carried two of them to safety, and then identified an enemy strongpoint that was inflicting grievous casualties on our troops. He ran across open terrain to reach a friendly tank, climbed on board, and personally led them towards the bunker. Although twice wounded while on the tank, he refused medical evacuation until the bunker was destroyed.
When he finally returned for care, his platoon leader threatened him with reprimand or court martial for leaving his post. Instead, when the full story of why he left his defensive position was learned,he was awarded the Medal of Honor eight months later,by President Franklin Roosevelt in the White House on September 6, 1944.
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